My #Review of #TheManOnHackpenHill by #JSMonroe @JSThrillers published by @HoZ_Books

Her best friend is dead and she needs to know why.

Aspiring journalist Bella is on work experience at a national newspaper when, out of the blue, she receives an anonymous letter promising her a big scoop if she travels down to Wiltshire.

All she finds is a government scientist spouting conspiracy theories in the pub. But then Bella’s best friend Erin is found dead in a nearby field, her body staged in the centre of a crop circle. Bella is devastated. Is this the real reason she was lured out here?

While detective Silas Hart searches for evidence, Bella scours her own memory for clues. But it’s full of blanks – the details of her university days with Erin keep slipping away. What secrets was Erin hiding? And, once they’re uncovered, what will it mean for Bella?

Firstly thank you so much, as always to the wonderful Head Of Zeus Publishing for gifting me a copy of The Man On Hackpen Hill by J.S Monroe

Secondly, this is my first read of a J.S Monroe book, the blurb had got my interest piqued, and let me tell you, from the moment I picked it up, I was hooked and obsessed!

The storyline is fast and really interesting revolving around our two protagonists Bella and Jim and the dark goings on of Porton Down, and testing of psychiatric drugs on human guinea pigs! I loved both these characters so much, and found them totally believable, so much so that I never saw the ending coming!! The illegal goings on are investigated by DI Silas Hart of Swindon CID, and he is also a character I loved… he had his own demons to deal with which made this case pretty close to home. I really hope that DI Silas Hart will return in another book as I also adored the setting in the countryside around Swindon, Wiltshire and Hampshire and not a million miles from where I live, and I’m quite familiar with it, which I think also makes for a reader to love this book.

It’s not too scientific which is good as it’s not really something I’m that interested in BUT it works so well in this storyline! I read The Man On Hackpen Hill over a weekend as I could not put it down! The writing is easy to read with short sharp chapters, I can find no faults with this book, in fact it’s going to be in my top 10 of the year I’m sure, I utterly loved loved loved it!

If you like a fast paced gripping thriller then look no further than The Man On Hackpen Hill by J.S Monroe.

An exceptional 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read!


J.S.Monroe is the pseudonym of author Jon Stock (see separate author page), who is currently the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Mansfield College, Oxford. The new J.S.Monroe suspense thriller, set in rural Wiltshire, is called The Man on Hackpen Hill. It was published in the UK in September 2021 and is the third book to feature DI Hart, head of Swindon CID. A dead body in a crop circle sends a coded message. Can DI Hart uncover the chilling truth before it’s too late?
Rosamund Lupton, bestselling author of Three Hours, said of it: “Original and brilliantly plotted, with not so much a twist as a seismic shifting of the ground under your feet … Amazing.” Tom Bradby, author of Secret Service, said: “A kind of Wiltshire Da Vinci Code, with crop circles, mathematical equations and shadowy figures from Porton Down. A real page turner written with beguiling wit.”
J.S.Monroe’s third thriller, The Other You, was published by Head of Zeus in in the UK in January 2020 and in paperback in January 2021. The book, the second to feature DI Silas Hart, has been in the Kindle Top 100 for two months and an Amazon #1 Bestseller in Medical thrillers.
“Brilliantly original and intriguing … Kept me hooked, enthralled and guessing to the very end,” according to Peter James. The Telegraph’s Jake Kerridge agreed: “I doubt many other psychological thrillers published this year will be as propulsive and fun.”
Monroe’s best-selling debut, Find Me, was published in the UK and the US in 2017. Translation rights have been sold to 14 countries.
Forget My Name, the first DI Hart thriller, was published by Head of Zeus in hardback in the UK in October 2018 and in paperback in June 2019. It was published in the US as The Last Thing She Remembers by Park Row Books (HarperCollins) in May 2019.
After reading English at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Jon worked as a freelance journalist in London, writing features for most of Britain’s national newspapers, as well as contributing to BBC Radio 4. He was also chosen for Carlton TV’s acclaimed screenwriters course.
In 1995 he lived in Kochi in Kerala, where he worked on the staff of India’s The Week magazine. Between 1998 and 2000, he was a foreign correspondent in Delhi, writing for the Daily Telegraph, South China Morning Post and the Singapore Straits Times. He also wrote the Last Word column in The Week magazine from 1995 to 2012.
On his return to Britain in 2000, Jon worked on various Saturday sections of the Telegraph before taking up a staff job as editor of its flagship Weekend section in 2005, which he oversaw for five years. He left Weekend and the Telegraph in 2010 to finish writing his Daniel Marchant trilogy (under the name Jon Stock) and returned to the Telegraph in February 2013 to oversee the Telegraph’s digital books channel. In May 2014 he was promoted to Executive Head of Weekend and Living, editing the paper’s Saturday and Sunday print supplements, as well as a range of digital lifestyle channels. He left the paper in October 2015 to resume his thriller-writing career.
Jon’s first two novels, The Riot Act, and The India Spy (originally published as The Cardamom Club) were reissued as eBooks by Head of Zeus – “J.S.Monroe writing as Jon Stock” – in November 2018.
The Riot Act, originally published by Serpent’s Tail, was launched on the top floor of Canary Wharf tower in 1997. The book was shortlisted by the Crime Writers’ Association for its best first novel award and was subsequently published by Gallimard in France as part of its acclaimed Serie Noir. The Sunday Times called it a “darkly sparkling crime thriller”. The Cardamom Club was published in 2003 by Blackamber (now Arcadia Books) in Britain and by Penguin in India. It was hailed by the travel writer William Dalrymple as a “witty, fast-moving, cleverly plotted espionage romp”.
Dead Spy Running, his third novel and the first in the Daniel Marchant (or ‘Legoland’) trilogy, was published by HarperCollins (Blue Door) in 2009 and has been translated into five languages. It follows Daniel Marchant, a young MI6 officer, as he tries to clear the name of his disgraced father, the former Chief of MI6. The sequel, Games Traitors Play, was published in 2011, and the final part of the trilogy, Dirty Little Secret, was published in 2012.
Warner Brothers bought the film rights to the trilogy in 2009, hiring Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) to write the screenplay for Dead Spy Running, which went into development with McG (Terminator IV, Charlie’s Angels, This Means War) and Kevin McCormick (Gangster Squad) producing. Jamie Moss worked on Gaghan’s script, followed by Simon Barrett, with Adam Wingard attached to direct.
In 2014, the film rights to Dead Spy Running were bought by Wonderland Sound and Vision, McG’s own production company.
In 2017, Jon was commissioned by The Nare, a luxury hotel in Cornwall, to write a spy novella set in and around the hotel, which is located on the Roseland Peninsula. To Snare A Spy is available to buy from the hotel.

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